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Turquoise has a long standing history in the world that goes so far back as to predate its own name. Although the oldest piece of turquoise jewelry was found on a 7,500 year old mummy, the name turquoise, meaning "Turkish stone," was not coined until the early 13th century. The stone was given this name because Europeans believed it originated in Turkey, although it was discovered later that its presence there resulted from extensive trade with Egypt (Gems in Myth, Legend and Lore, Knuth). Turquoise continues to rank as one of the most popular gemstones throughout the spans of time, and is both the traditional and modern day birthstone for December.

Despite its earliest recorded history in "the Old World," Turquoise has rich cultural meaning to our Native American nations as well. It is known by some as "the stone that stole its color from the sky." The sky-blue color in turquoise results from the presence of copper in secondary copper mineral deposits that are prevalent in the Southwest. Despite the diverse cultures of the Native American peoples, the stone...

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"O Sing, choirs of angels | sing in exultation" begins the second verse of the well-known Western Christmas carol "O Come, All Ye Faithful". As this song resounds in one's mind, this particular stanza may reverberate with an alternative meaning.

One could easily replace the "u" in exultation, defined as a feeling of jubilation or rejoicing,

with the letter "a" to make it exaltation, which has two meanings: (1) a state of extreme happiness (similar to exultation), or (2) an action of elevating someone in rank, power, or character. What this substitution brings to light is that singing helps us to achieve a higher state of happiness and general well-being.

Now, singing is not limited to vocalists and string instruments. Singing Bowls, whether made of crystal or the traditional Tibetan "seven metals", have long been used in Eastern tradition to elevate the spirit. By running a special mallet firmly along the outer rim of a singing bowl, friction causes the air molecules within the bowl to vibrate and move resulting in a sound wave. As...

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All fossils are rocks, but not all rocks are fossils. Once-living organisms can become preserved and, under the right conditions, the organic tissues of the organism can slowly become replaced by minerals such as calcite or quartz turning the remains into stone. This process applies to wood as well as the better known ammonites and dinosaur bones most people think of as fossils.

Petrified wood can occur in any number of colors due to trace elements that find their way into the replacement minerals. Because this process occurs atom by atom, many of the wood structures and textures can be perfectly preserved including bark, knots, and even tree rings! Sometimes the knots and hollows of a limb will fill in with druzy quartz. Although most petrified wood ends up replaced by the chalcedony member of the quartz family, some specimens have been known to form from hematite and even malachite replacement. This process can take thousands of years to occur after the decades to centuries of life represented by the wood itself.

As one would...

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In modern times most people know amethyst as the February birthstone. However, Amethyst has a rich history in mythology and lore spanning time and the globe. The name is derived from the Greek word amethustos meaning 'not drunken,' although the etiological (origin) story for amethyst was not relayed until 1576 by a French poet named Remy Belleau (Knuth, Gems in Myth, Legend, and Lore, Revised Edition, 2007).

Several variations of this story exist, but since I am a romantic, I have chosen to tell the following version...Once upon a time, the Greek god of wine, Dionysus, fell madly in love with a fair maiden name Amethyste who he pursued relentlessly, drunk with love. However, Amethyste refused his advances and wished to remain chaste. She beseeched the virgin goddess, Artemis, to protect her virtue. The goddess, therefore, turned Amethyste into a pillar of white crystal. Dionysus, being humbled by Amethyste's desire to remain chaste, poured wine on the crystals as an offering that turned them forever the color of grapes.

In...

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“We Rock”

Karen Richards is a daily fixture for countless Austin commuters. Delicately seated inside a giant amethyst geode, Richards has smiled radiantly

from a highly visible I-35 billboard for Nature’s Treasures since she opened her metaphysical rock shop in 2000. “Everyone feels like they know me

because they see me for two seconds every day. My energy really becomes a part of people’s lives,” she says.

In person, Richards’ energy is certainly contagious, and she wholeheartedly believes in the power of the rare gems and minerals Nature’s Treasures

is known for, saying, “Things are put in front of us every day to learn from and absorb, but if we’re not ready, we miss it.” At age 65, she speaks from

a lifetime of experience, guided intuitively by what she calls “the spirit” throughout decades of cross-country adventures, passionate romances and

nearly a dozen of her own businesses, which included a color copy and computer graphics company. In another life, she posed for Playboy and

jet-setted with Hollywood...

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There's a buzz phrase in the world of crystal healing...Negative Entropic Quartz. There are a number of different types of quartz crystals differentiated by mineral content and formation such as Generator crystals, Transmitters, Channelers and Elestials among other Master Crystals. Each formation generates a different energy and specializes in working with various human elements. Information about this quartz energy is being channeled and received called Negative Entropic.

So what is Negative Entropic Quartz? The crystals can be found in a quartz vein from Mt Ida, Arkansas all the way up to Brokenbow, Oklahoma. Some time during their growth history they were traumatized so severely that several fractures occurred within the typical structure which gives them a "sparkly" appearance. Some say they appear to be of the stars, reflecting the light of the universe. The clusters have a "sugary" coating of smaller crystals, which continue to generate new crystal growth. Some clusters have a small dark nodule on the underneath side. These nodules seem to contain "source energy" and...

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Superman's Fortress of Solitude! In actuality, this is a gypsum (aka "selenite") crystal from the Naica Mine in Chihuahua, Mexico. The "Cavern of Crystal Giants" featured in National Geographic (ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/11/crystal-giants/shea-text) hosted half-a-million year old crystals up to 100 feet in length! The crystals at Nature's Treasures were found 100s of feet below the surface of the mine in a maze of interconnected caverns. Based on the size of these crystals (a solid 2-4 feet in length), I guess you could think of them as baby "Hagrid" crystals (referring to the famous half-giant, half-human wizard from Harry Potter) Look through our gallery below!

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Ametrine is a rare gem variety of quartz named for its naturally occurring combination of purple AMEthyst with yellow ciTRINE. These two color varieties are believed to occur together because of a process known as twinning by which two chemically distinct quartz crystals intergrow. The amethyst gets its color from Fe4+, while citrine is colored by Fe3+. Synthetic versions of ametrine can be made in a lab, but this process is considered difficult and costly. Heat treatment of amethyst to create citrine cannot generally produce ametrine because heating causes all purple hues to turn yellow.

However, Nature’s Treasures of Texas recently received a batch of heat-treated amethyst (now citrine) that contained something interesting. Many of the citrine points received were dark golden brown or even black on the surface. Upon closer inspection, we noticed something unique about many of the citrine points…some contained traces of purple at their heart still! We theorize that when these citrines were baked, they were baked too hot for a short period of time (“flash heating”)...

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Nature's Treasures of Texas proudly sponsors the Society for the Advancement of Modeling and Role Modeling (SAMRM) annual nursing conference in San Antonio. SAMRM strives to expand their understanding of holistic nursing and the application of alternative healing.

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Yesterday I took 80 new pics of beautiful new items, I'd never seen before at the store. It was so much fun to hear about each one. Here is just a sampling! Come in and see them all for yourselves!

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We are working to become an Austin Green Business Leader!

Retrofitting and replacing store lights with energy efficient LED bulbs

Reducing paper by switching to a low energy POS system.

Switching from bottled water to a water filtration system.

Using rechargeable batteries.

All of our furniture, office equipment and supplies are post consumer

We currently divert 75% of our waste from going into a landfill via recycling and compost.

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Sweet Satya is the creator of one of our new handcrafted, handdrilled lines of stone jewelry, including unique crystal headdresses that can be found exclusively at Nature's Treasures of Texas. If you would like to get to know the artist, check out her video below.

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Earthy elements may elicit crystal clarity

By David Wilfong SPECIAL TO STATESMAN HOMES

Some people use classic art prints to decorate the interior of their homes. Others go for the “arts and crafts” motif, or at least a vintage look. Others are more the “salt of the earth” crowd, and as it turns out, a good-size chunk of natural salt can be fashioned into an interesting lamp. Karen Richards, owner of Nature’s Treasures, 4103 N. Interstate 35 in Austin, sees a lot of these people and deals in natural rocks, crystals, fossils and more that can be fashioned into all sorts of home-décor items. “There’s everything from plates and bowls made of banded onyx to amethysts so large you could sit inside them,” Richards said. “Lamps are huge things, especially the Himalayan salt lamps. “Some folks have the metaphysical belief that rocks represent different things, like amethyst is for healing or rose quartz represents love, but we have a huge customer base that just loves bringing nature into their home.” Many customers also choose rock selections to use in...

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Saturday & Sunday, November 14 & 15, 9am - 5pm

Admission: $3/adult, $2/child (6-12), children under 6 free.

Special rates may apply for school, scout and youth groups.

Location: Old Settler's Heritage Association (inside)

Next to the Dell Diamond on US Highway 79, Round Rock, TX 3 miles east of IH-35

More info: http://www.austinpaleo.org/fest.html

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Nature's Treasures donated door prizes to the American Cancer Society's first ever (in the nation) LGBT "Color Out Cancer" gala to celebrate survivors in the LGBT community and help raise awareness.

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New card decks, new sage and incense, capiz shell painted boxes, Peruvian pouches, and new black amethyst of all sizes!

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Amazing Amethyst

Known as one of the first stones used for making jewelry, Amethyst has intrigued humans for at least 10,000 years. The word is derived from the Greek work “a-methysios” - meaning “not intoxicated.” Known as a symbol of modesty, peace of mind, devotion and reverence, the cherished jewel was associated with mystical powers of mental healing. Often reserved for the wealthy, it served as a symbol of status. Its violet color made it ideal material for expensive prayer beads. In modern times, gemstones are worn not so much to demonstrate wealth and status, but for pleasure, appreciation of their beauty and the beneficial energies they provide.

Rock crystal or clear quartz, alters to a purple or violet color with the presence of iron and manganese, transforming into amethyst. The color violet traditionally stands for spirituality and symbolically represents balance between heaven and earth, mind and body, and love and wisdom. One of the most common, yet most beneficial healing crystal members of the quartz group, amethyst is a powerful and protective stone...

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“Levity helps us rise above whatever has been bringing us down.”

-- Swami Beyondananda

Dear Friends, Fans and Co-Hearts:

Cosmic comic Swami Beyondananda, whose favorite yoga pose is tongue-in-cheek, will be bringing his brand of enlightening humor to the Nature's Treasures in Austin on Friday October 23rd and you are invited to join in the fun!

Maybe you’ve never seen the Swami before and are wondering, “A cosmic comic Swami? How does that work?" Or maybe you’ve heard about the Swami but haven’t yet gone to his show. So … why should you show up at this show?

Well, of course there is the simple answer: Why not?

But if you’re like most of the folks we know, you aren’t satisfied with simple answers. You want complex answers. OK, well we have come up with enough complex reasons for coming to see these show to satisfy anyone’s complex. Hopefully one or more of the Top Ten Reasons below will ring your bell and spur you to buy one or more tickets. Here goes:

# 10. The...

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